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AMD Athlon 200GE Review: A Low Budget King?
Since its launch in 2017, AMD’s Ryzen products have disrupted the desktop processor market. It has been shown that the new Ryzen processors offer excellent value for money and are very competitive with Intel core processors. But how well does the new architecture that drives AMD’s Ryzen Awakening to turn towards the end of the product line? So far, the least efficient “Zen” processor, AMD Athlon 200GE ($55), is trying to remove Intel from the Celeron game, and it could be a success. With better performance than the other quad-core dual-core budget chip, the Intel Pentium Gold G5600, but for only half the price, the Athlon 200GE is a good choice for buyers and manufacturers with a very value-mindset.
Reasonable performance for the price.
Has four threads for barely more than $50.
Not-bad integrated graphics for the price.
The multiplier is locked.
Sales on Ryzen 3 chips make those a tempting alternative.
Not-so-good stock cooler.
AMD’s Athlon Position On The Market
The Athlon 200GE uses the AMD “Zen” architecture, released in early 2017 with Ryzens. It has two CPU cores that support SMT (Simultaneous Multithreading Technology), which allows each core to process two threads simultaneously. The cores are carefully synchronized at 3.2GHz and lack the boost technology, which means you only get 3.2GHz.
Note: Gamers Nexus was able to overclock this CPU to 3.9 GHz with a MSI B350 Tomahawk motherboard. Click here to see thier article.
The Athlon 200GE is also one of the few desktop processors that AMD locks the cores in, so you can’t speed it up by increasing the CPU multiplier. The cores have a 4MB L3 cache, which is small compared to Ryzen but can compete with Intel’s Celeron “Coffee Lake” processors, which have only half the L3 cache.
The Athlon 200GE is also equipped with AMD’s integrated Radeon Vega 3 graphics, which offers 192 shaders, 12 TMUs, 4 ROPs and a 1000 MHz clock. We didn’t expect much from this low-end graphics solution. Unlike AMD’s Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 iGPUs, Athlon is designed to be a simple solution for basic graphics workloads such as website rendering. That doesn’t mean you can’t play some games with it, but don’t expect to do something resent in a stable framerate. Spoiler: Despite this limitation, we were somewhat surprised by the integrated graphics tests. Learn more about this in a moment.
AMD’s least efficient stock cooler is equipped with the Athlon 200GE. It can prevent the Athlon 200GE from overheating, and it is reasonable to consider that overclocking this Athlon is not an option. Compared to the company’s robust and attractive thermal solutions Wraith Stealth, Wraith Spire, Wraith Max, and Wraith Prism, this is just a leap. It is designed for utility and at an affordable price, not looks.
Before looking at the benchmarks, be aware that when testing AMD processors have a small but legitimate advantage over Intel processors in our testing process. Since many high-end Intel motherboards don’t have many video ports and the typical Celeron or Pentium buyer won’t use the Z370 or Z390 motherboard with such a cheap chip, we had to find the right testbed for benchmarking our budget processor on the Intel LGA 1151 interface. Ultimately, we selected Asrock DeskMini 310 a bare-bone mini PC to run our inexpensive Intel LGA 1151 CPU test. However, the system board only supported RAM up to 2,600 MHz.
As a result, the following Intel Celeron and Pentium CPUs were compared to 2,600 MHz DDR4 memory, while AMD processors were tested on an AM4 B350 motherboard with 3000 MHz DDR4 DRAM. (the B350-based motherboard was Gigabyte AB350-Gaming 3). This should give AMD a small advantage in some tests, especially with 7-Zip benchmarks and graphics. The memory of both systems was configured in two-channel mode with two 8 GB RAM drives for a total of 16 GB.
Here is a breakdown of the many processors compared to the Athlon 200GE in our performance graphs to get an idea of their key statistics.
The following performance diagrams also show some Core i3 and i5 processors from the previous generation as well as the current Ryzen 5 generation. However, these chips are above the offerings here from Athlon, Pentium, and Celeron.
The main competitor of the Athlon 200GE is the Intel Celeron chips. The prices between 200GE and Celeron are similar. Both processors have two 3.2 GHz CPU cores. However, Athlon offers several major advantages such as a double L3 cache (4 MB) and simultaneous support for multiple threads (so that four threads can be processed). Let’s see how this is shaken in the test.
Starting with Cinebench, we see that the AMD Athlon 200GE with all of its cores has a strong advantage over rival Intel Celeron G4920, which is not surprising given Celeron’s smaller L3 cache and lack of hyper-threading support. However, Athlon fall behind the Pentium Gold G5600 single-core and all-core tests.
Athlon did well in our Handbrake video-editing exercise and had a significant advantage over the Celeron G4920. It also outperformed the Pentium Gold G5600, although the difference in performance was too small to show a real advantage.
Blender and iTunes
Testing with Blender 2.77a showed that the Athlon 200GE still has a good advantage over Celeron, but lags behind the Pentium Gold.
Athlon finished last in a respectable one-thread iTunes test. This benchmark tends to favor Intel processors and the use of high-speed single-core processors, as evidenced by the latest-generation Pentium and Core i3 dual-core processors, which conveniently outperforms quad-core AMD chips. Celeron also benefited from this.
POV-Ray-Ray tracking benchmarks show no strong bias in any architecture, so their results tend to relate to the relative performance difference between processors. However, the result was inconsistent when the Athlon 200GE beat the Celeron G4920 in which all the cores were compromised, but far behind with only one core was compromised. However, since most workloads today have multiple threads, Athlon offers a small advantage.
7-Zip compression software is known to benefit from faster RAM, which means that all AMD processors have an advantage over their Intel competitors. However, Athlon’s leadership over Celeron was too great to simply be due to memory differences.
It even outperformed the Intel Core i3-7350K, although this would likely be the opposite if Core i3 is tested with the same RAM.
Both AMD and Intel have a long history of integrated graphics, but there is no doubt that AMD currently has the advantage. The company’s high-end graphics cards are Nvidia’s only real competition, and the same technology, which has been significantly reduced, significantly outperforms Intel’s less durable integrated graphics silicon on AMD processors. Given the Radeon Vega 3 architecture, it’s no surprise that the Athlon 200GE outperforms its Intel rival.
To be fair, Intel’s Pentium Gold G5600 performed a respectable result in these graphics tests and stayed within a few frames per second of Athlon despite its slightly slower memory. It even managed to sneak up on Athlon while playing the Rise of Tomb Raider at 1080p (though this was controversial; no chip was close to stable gameplay). However, Athlon is by far the fastest solution since many tests have a small advantage and in Rainbow Six: Siege quite a bit. The results of the 3DMark Night Raid also reflect the performance differences between Athlon and its Intel competitors.
AMD announced the Athlon 200GE at $55, but due to supply and demand laws, it was $67.58 on Amazon. Still, Athlon is the most popular choice for any PC builder with a slim wallet. It was behind the Pentium Gold G5600 in most tests, but this processor costs significantly more. (Intel reports it at $75- $82, but at the time of writing, it was somewhere between $95-102.)
Compared to the Celeron G4920, the Athlon 200GE is faster and a few dollars cheaper. It’s certainly not a speed buck, but if you need a computer to occasionally surf the Internet and may play a few older games, Athlon is a great solution, and there’s no shortage of budget charts to get you started on the AM4 platform.
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